Senate Confirms Cochran as USFA Administrator

Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was confirmed Friday by the Senate as the new Administrator of the USFA.

Cochran's nomination was approved by unanimous consent.

"Chief Cochran's leadership of city fire departments and his role in national fire organizations give him valuable perspective on the needs of firefighters," Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, said in a statement.

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate lauded the Senate's decision following the confirmation.

"As the Chief of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department as well as the former chief in Shreveport, LA, Chief Cochran brings extensive experience to a critical position within our Agency and the Department of Homeland Security," Fugate said in a statement.

"The USFA plays a critical role in our efforts to mitigate, prepare, and respond to disasters and emergencies, and I look forward to working with Chief Cochran as we continue to build our national emergency response team."

Acting USFA Administrator Glenn Gaines said of Cochran's approval: "I am pleased and honored to have Kelvin come on board as our administrator."

Gaines went on to say that he is looking forward to a close partnership with Cochran as they address the issues facing America's firefighters.

"It's very important that first responders are prepared, trained, educated and equipped to meet the challenges now and in the future."

He said the USFA will be continuing to explore innovative ways to reduce the impact of fire on civilians.

Gaines said it's an exciting time for the nation's fire service, adding that Cochran is a firefighter's firefighter.

In an interview with last month, Cochran tried to describe how it felt when he was contacted by White House staff about the nomination.

"I am humbled beyond words that he would consider my credentials and background for such a position. I consider it a tremendous honor to be asked to lead the American fire service..."

Being a firefighter is the only thing he ever wanted to do. When he watched crews in action at a neighbor's house fire, he was bitten. Later, he realize that dream.

Cochran was the first vice-president of the IAFC before taking the position with Atlanta last year. He previously served as chief in Shreveport, La. from 1999 to 2008. will provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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